PowerGrasp – Design and Evaluation of a Modular Soft-Robotic Arm Exosuit for Industrial Applications

Konferenz: ISR 2020 - 52th International Symposium on Robotics
09.12.2020 - 10.12.2020 in online

Tagungsband: ISR 2020

Seiten: 8Sprache: EnglischTyp: PDF

Goppold, Jean-Paul; Kuschan, Jan; Thiele, Gregor; Schmidt, Henning; Krueger, Joerg (Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology - IPK, Berlin, Germany)
Hackbart, Roman; Kostelnik, Jan (Würth Electronics, Künzelsau, Germany)
Liebach, Jana; Wolschke, Mirko (Reha-Zentrum Lübben, Lübben, Germany)

Absence from work caused by overloading the musculoskeletal system lowers the life quality of the worker and gains unnecessary costs for both the employer and the health system. Classical (rigid link) body-worn exoskeletons can help to reduce critical loading but show many disadvantages, preventing exoskeletons from extensive use in industrial environment. The presented PowerGrasp system is a very robust modular softrobotic arm exosuit sting of robust fabric with embedded rubber tubes as pressure chambers and soft-electronics and who’s design is capable to overcome the critical limiting factors of classical exoskeletons. By inflating the tubes via pressure-control valves, it is possible to vary the stiffness of the chambers, which can be effectively used to generate assisting forces and moments at human joints. By using a joint based pressure control, it is possible to decrease the physical demand of overhead working for the wearer. Although the system is designed for industrial overhead assembly, it can also be used in rehabilitation, craftsmanship and construction due to its portable and stand-alone concept. For assessing the impact of the PowerGrasp system, the raise of about 50 percent was shown. Finally, an evaluation study of the overall system has been conducted, showing very high user acceptance and usability.